Skelwith to the Langdales Walk
A day’s circular walk to Little Langdale, Blea Tarn, Great Langdale, Chapel Stile, Elterwater & Skelwith Bridge. This challenging walk provides a variety of breathtaking views of waterfalls, hills, mountains and tarns. No mountain peaks are climbed but the pass between Little and Great Langdale affords wonderful views
Clothing: waterproof/windproof jacket and over trousers – depending upon the weather conditions, walking boots.
Equipment: O.S. Map, compass, whistle, binoculars, snack food and drink.
Refreshment stops: Chapel Stile, Elterwater, Skelwith Bridge.
Conditions to be expected underfoot: tarmac, unmade tracks, loose stone, muddy areas, marsh, grass, short rocky outcrops, steep drops in places.
Fitness Level: A good level required
Distance: 13 miles
Time: 5-8 hours
For printed directions, please ask at Skelwith Fold Reception. These are available for a suggested £1.50 donation which goes to supporting The Great North Air Ambulance.
- On leaving Skelwith Fold Caravan Park Shop and Reception Area turn left. Follow the red road to the barrier, through the gate and on to the junction (by the Post Box). Turn right to Skelwith Fold and continue along the lane ignoring the right turn to Ambleside. Go down the hill to the junction and turn right. Continue down the lane to the main road
- Turn left up the hill for 150 yards. At Crag Hill Cottage turn right and immediately left on to the bridleway. After the next gate turn left up a footpath through Bridge Howe Coppice. Pass through the next gate and follow the path to Park House. The winding path through the meadow passes through two gates leading to Elterwater Park Guest House. (Look for the carved alphabet in the slate on the barn wall on your left.)
- Take the centre footpath leading to a stile, cross the stream, to the next stile and then on to a gate. Cross the drive and continue through the next gate and along the path through the meadow. Climb over the stile and path with steps down through the wood (quite steep!). Cross two more stiles to reach the road.
- Turn right. After 80 yards, cross the road to the footpath sign to High Park. Climb the steps to the gate. Turn right and follow the narrow path up to Colwith Force (waterfall). After visiting the waterfall return to the path that follows the fence to on the right up through woods.
- Go through the gate to a field at the top of the wood and follow the path to the next gate that leads to some cottages at High Park. Go through the gate turn right then left between the buildings to the gate leading to the lane and turn right signed Coniston.
- Continue along the lane. Pass Stang End, down the hill and over the cattle grid. After a stone bridge in 150 yards turn right off the lane and follow the footpath through the trees close to the river. On reaching the river bridge continue along the wide track with the river on the right and old mine workings on the left. Continue along the bridleway, through a gate, then pass the NT cottages on the left then up to High Hall Garth (Climbing Hut). The track eventually comes to a gate leading to open land.
- Continue along the track above Little Langdale Tarn to a sign to Fell Foot to the right go down the gated Byway to a white cottage (Bridge End). Continue through the gate, along the track to the road and turn left.
- Walk up the road past the farm. The road climbs steeply round numerous bends, crosses a cattle grid and passes a large outcrop on the right. Blea Moss (a boggy area) appears to the right. Continue along the road until it becomes un-walled. A Public Footpath sign then appears beyond the wall. (NY 293 032) Follow the indistinct footpath to the right just above the marshy area. The path soon becomes more obvious but somewhat uneven with large stones to negotiate! Follow this path, which eventually enters a gorge with waterfalls and convenient places to picnic.
- Continue along the path to the gate then onward with Blea Tarn on the right until reaching the top of the pass between Little Langdale and Great Langdale. Passing through this, the highest point of the walk, rewards the walker with magnificent views of Great Langdale. Cross the road through the gate and turn left to follow the steep path down towards the campsite. Pick up the footpath to the right at the fence and follow it along the valley towards Side House passing through a gate, over two ladder stiles and a bridge. Continue along the path to the gate then up a stony path through the field, through a gate and over a stone slab bridge the along the track for approximately 1 mile to the barn at Oak Howe, turn left. Follow the wide track with the beck on the left for ¾ of a mile. Cross the stone bridge and follow the lane to a Footpath sign on the right. Turn right. (To the village centre.) Continue along the path, through a gate; pass some buildings on the right then behind the school on the left, eventually descending to the road adjacent to Wainwright’s. (50 yards to the left is Chapel Stile Co-op incorporating The Brambles Café. (Well worth a visit!)
- Continue past Wainwright’s to the Footpath sign (to Elterwater) turn right. Take the path through the gate and over the bridge then follow the path to the left alongside the river. The path leads onto the quarry drive, turn left, and walk down to the village of Elterwater with its famous maple tree, cafe, The Britannia Inn and public loos!
- From the car park adjacent to the bridge and river take the bridleway that follows the River Brathay past Elter Water Tarn, through the woods and meadows to Skelwith Force. Continue through the former slate works to Chester’s by the River and The Talbot Inn.
- At the main road (A593) cross the bridge then take the little lane to the left at the corner and follow it passing the Community Centre on the right. Continue on the tarmac road until reaching the first left turning. Turn left up the hill to Skelwith Fold.
- Continue through Skelwith Fold and back to Skelwith Fold Caravan Park.
Rambling and hill walking can be strenuous and it is up to you to approach it with caution and if you are inexperienced, to do so under appropriate supervision. You should also carry appropriate clothing, equipment and maps and wear suitable footwear. Details given were believed to be right at the time of going to press but neither the author nor Skelwith Fold Caravan Park can accept responsibility for inaccuracies or mishaps. Please keep to public rights of way and observe the Countryside Code.
How to find Skelwith to the Langdales Walk
Opening times: Always open
Distance from park
1 ftles (approx. 1 min)